SUPERCARS racing star Nick Percat will return to Formula 1000 this weekend in a bid to break the 53-second barrier at Barbagallo Wanneroo Raceway.
The Bathurst winner made what was meant to be a one-off return to single-seater racing earlier this year, banking a pole and three race wins at the Perth circuit in an Arise Racing F1000.
Percat also set a new lap record for the category with a blisteringly-quick 53.079s and will return to the category on November 16 for a crack at his own lap record, setting his sights on dipping under the 53s mark in a car usually raced by series leader Adam Lisle.
“I’ve seen a 52s-lap on the dash before, but the Natsoft timing loop is slightly different,” he said.
“I’m in the boss’s car this weekend and the pedal box is a bit more accommodating for a tall person like myself.
“I sat in it the other day when I was in Perth for the Driver Search, and I thought ‘yeah, there’s a bit of time to be found here’.
“We’ll put some new tyres on and have a red hot go.
“It’s such a fun car to drive and the Arise crew do such a good job.
“For me it’s all about having fun and enjoying my racing with no pressure; I just get to have a skid and race against some of the other coaches and competitors.”
The F1000 return follows the conclusion of the first-ever Arise Racing Driver Search, when Percat played a key role in the judging and selection process.
Max McRae, 14-year-old son of former World Rally Championship competitor Alister McRae, took out the top prize of a fully-funded seat for the 2020 WA Formula 1000 season.
“It was seriously impressive seeing how he handled the whole thing, nothing seems to faze him,” Percat said.
“He looks like he’s two seconds off the pace when you watch him, and then you see the stopwatch and you go ‘hang on, he’s really motoring’.
“He was a standout, he was the fastest and the smoothest.”
Max said he was excited to have won the driver search and could not wait to get behind the wheel of the F1000.
“To move from karts into the F1000 with Arise Racing and all the support will be amazing,” he said.
“It’s awesome that Arise Racing have put this program together.
“Working and learning from the coaches really helped me get up to speed in the Radical.”
Gianni Lutzu won a 75 per cent subsidised F1000 drive for 2020 thanks to finishing second in the Driver Search, while third-placed Ryan Bender will have his drive subsidised by 50 per cent.
Elliott Schutte and Andrew Malkin, who finished fourth and fifth, will make their Radical race debuts at Barbagallo this weekend as the final prize winners.